Epic

Remember how I said I had helping hands on bread making day? Remember how I clarified that they went on to find more entertaining things to do than just make bread??

Well, this is what you get when a 12 year old boy helps in the kitchen…

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Tongue Bread

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Let’s get another look at that.

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Maybe take a bite??

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Epic

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Never a dull moment!

Black Cavachons

The Beauty of a Black Cavachon! The third rarest color, behind the Tri and Black & Tan is the Black Cavachon. With hair that looks almost velvet like, the Black Cavachons truly do have a beauty all their own!

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We currently have 3 beautiful black Cavachon puppies in the Lilly litter. They will be small. Please remember how beautiful they can be!

Thank you Jodie for these amazing pictures of Mindy!

Dinner Rolls & Cloverleaf Rolls

It’s Thanksgiving week and I’ve been cooking and baking. (Ok, I know it was last week, but I’m just now finally getting this done!) It feels so refreshing to do these jobs in my new kitchen and I’m continually amazed at how quickly I’m able to get things cleaned up when I’m done.

One of the items I contributed to our Thanksgiving dinner was dinner rolls.

Earlier this week, my friend Eva posted a picture on FB of her cloverleaf dinner rolls and I immediately decided I would make them for our Thanksgiving as well.

I began looking for a white bread recipe since the only bread recipe I had ever really made was whole wheat, and I wanted the rolls to be nice and light. After finding recipes with milk and eggs (and knowing most people at our gathering were mostly vegan), I decided to just use my tried and true recipe with some simple adjustments.

In no time at all, I had things mixing up. It always amazes me how the “thought” of making bread takes so much more energy than just actually doing it!

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There were lots of willing hands to help.

Ok, mostly willing hands.

You’ll see in future posts that two sets of these hands went on to do other things that they found to be much more entertaining. More on that later.

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It wasn’t long before everything was ready for the oven.

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We made regular rolls in the round pans, a couple small loaves with what was left, and Kendrick made a little shape thingy there in the middle pan (more on that later too).

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And these are the Cloverleaf Rolls. They were fun to make!

Everything came out of the oven a beautiful toasty brown. I brushed olive oil over everything when it came out of the oven. Mmmmmm, the house always smells so good when bread is baking!

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This was how they were actually served, with my vegetable platter in the background. They were a huge hit, and I’m definitely going to make them again sometime!

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A special Thank You to all my helpers! I couldn’t have done it without you all!

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BREAD RECIPE

1/2 c. Oil
1/2 c. Honey
5-6 c. Warm Water (I always use 6 cups)
1/8 c. Dough Enhancer
1/4 c. Gluten Flour
1 1/2 T Salt
3 T Yeast
Enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the mixer

I have a Bosch mixer, which does all the kneading for me. Place the water, oil, and honey in the mixer. Add the Dough Enhancer, Gluten Flour, and Salt. Then add a couple cups of flour. Add the Yeast next. Mix slowly to get everything combined. Keep adding flour (I’m sorry, but I have no idea how many cups it takes). The dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the mixer. When the sides wipe clean, it’s enough flour. This takes some practice, and maybe in a future post, I’ll take a picture of what “clean sides” looks like!

I usually use mostly hard white wheat flour (that I grind myself). I mix in some white flour to give it a lightness, but the white wheat keeps whole wheat bread nice and light. I used to use Hard Red wheat, but never with these nice light results.

For these rolls, I used a few cups of the whole wheat, a couple cups of Bread Flour (yellow bag at the grocery stores), and the rest was white flour. I wanted them nice and light and “store-bought”ish! I love that there is freedom to add whatever type of flour you want. Sometimes I throw in some oats. But for this recipe, I used Hard White Wheat flour, White Flour, and Bread Flour.

Once there is enough flour, I let it mix (knead) for 15 minutes. After that, I turn it off and let it sit for about 10 minutes to rise a little bit. I then grease my hands and pull it out of the mixer onto my mat on the counter. Then comes the fun of forming the loaves, or rolls, or whatever you want to make out of your dough.

I let things rise again until about double in size and then put into the 350 degree oven and bake till nice and toasty brown. I don’t know how helpful this recipe will really be because I’m realizing that I just kind of wing it each time and don’t have any specific measurements or times for baking, but just kind of “know” what I’m looking for. I guess that would make me an experienced bread maker. Since I don’t consider myself to be a great cook, I’m happy to say that I DO know how to make bread.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section. It’s entirely possible that my recipe and directions could have something missing.

This is the actual recipe card that I use. It is bare bones basic!

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Happy Bread Baking!

Ugly Dog

Sometimes I wonder how we ended up with such an ugly dog.

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She might be ugly, but she is the BEST dog ever!

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We’re hanging in the office this morning trying to stay warm. Redford is crated and we’re all just “chillin”!

Covering For The Puppies

Training puppies is a 24/7/365 day adventure.  It doesn’t let up if you’re sick.  It doesn’t let up if you want to get away for a few hours.  It doesn’t let up if you want to get away for a day.  Forget about taking vacations!  It doesn’t let up if you need to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, or go Christmas shopping.  It doesn’t let up if company needs to sleep in the office/puppy room.  And most importantly, it doesn’t let up for the weather.

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When the sky fills with clouds it means one of two things…RAIN or SNOW!!  And these two things make potty training puppies very difficult.

But I had a dream and I knew a solution was possible when we got our new house.  I knew the office would double as a puppy training room, and I knew there was a nice little back porch with a sliding glass door.  I knew we could install a doggie door into the sliding glass door, and I knew we could use the back porch for the potty boxes.  And I HOPED we would be able to figure out some sort of covering to shield this most important space from the weather!

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And so the dream began…with corrugated hard plastic roofing, that allows the sunshine to still spill through, but blocks the moisture and snow from falling on the training grounds!

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Lucky me, who has The Woodman for a husband, who can build and fix just about anything.  I knew this little project would be no problem for him, if he’d take the time to do it!  It’s well known that “the cobbler’s children never have shoes”, right?  I begged and pleaded and coerced and manipulated.

Ok, I only begged and pleaded.  I think he saw the need and I’m so glad he was willing to do the job!

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It was a wet and miserable day, but he faithfully built the puppy shelter.

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It was scarcely done before it was tested with great results!

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It’s a little lean-to shelter, with just enough space for all the necessary tools…

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To properly maintain the space, we need…

-4 litter boxes that will service up to 8 puppies
-an electric water dish to withstand our freezing weather (and a normal one in the summer)
-a metal trash can that holds puppy kibble
-a dark brown plastic container that holds the pine pellets
-a nice broom for quick sweeping (the pellets can be a bit dusty)
-and not shown in this photo, but in the following photos, a large round trash can for all the doggie waste (and there is a LOT)!!

And of course, a wonderful, tall, Iris pen to contain the puppies while they’re out on the porch doing their business, and playing!

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We will paint the railings and framing white this coming spring.

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It’s such a nice, compact space, with EVERYTHING necessary for successful litter box/potty training.  Redford is loving the space and uses the litter boxes like a regular champ!

I am so excited about this space.  Now it doesn’t matter how bad the weather is outside, we will still have all the puppies going through their training.

We just brought Sadie’s litter into this space this week.  It took them less than 24 hours to figure out the doggie door!  Redford is showing them the ropes.  They are having a ball playing inside and outside, and though it is dry right now, let the rain and the snow come!  This year, we are READY!!